ADL Dismayed at Supreme Court Decision
Allowing Boy Scouts to Discriminate Against Gays
New York, NY, June 28, 2000 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
today expressed dismay at the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing the Boy
Scouts of America to keep gays out of their organization.
Howard P. Berkowitz, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL
National Director, issued the following statement:
We are stunned that in the year 2000, the Supreme Court could issue
such a decision. The Supreme Court’s decision provides cover for
groups that attempt to target individuals they wish to exclude from
their otherwise open membership rolls. This decision effectively states
that as long as an organization avows an anti-homosexual position, it is
free to discriminate against gay and lesbian Americans.
Growing up, many young boys of different backgrounds join the Boy
Scouts. They come together to learn, camp, and give back to the
community. Today’s decision, however, makes clear that while the Boy
Scouts welcome all other boys, they are free to turn away gays who wish
to become scouts or scoutmasters.
Instead of wearing proudly a Boy Scout merit badge, gay boys now wear a ‘scarlet
letter.’ As Justice John Paul Stevens observed in his dissent, the Court today
has attached a special stigma to being gay. No American, however, should be
discriminated against or stigmatized simply because of his or her sexual
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.